Healthy support for Crufts from dog charities and vets

The Kennel Club has today confirmed that there will be a dedicated Health Zone at Crufts 2009 and that 20 well known dog charities and veterinary organisations will attend the event, in order to achieve the shared objective of breeding happy, healthy dogs.

There will be a brand new Health Zone at Crufts where vets and scientific experts from the British Veterinary Association and the Animal Health Trust will talk to dog lovers about a range of dog health topics including Kennel Club health initiatives, health screening and DNA tests.

Amongst others, dog owners will be able to talk to breed experts about choosing the right dog for them, at the Discover Dogs area, and speak to Kennel Club Accredited Breeders about how to ensure that they buy a puppy whose health and welfare has been put first and foremost.

This news follows a statement from animal charity The Blue Cross, which has announced that it will attend Crufts 2009 “in order to provide pet owners with practical and reliable advice that will enable individuals to influence the issue of hereditary disease through their informed choices and by supporting responsible breeding practices”.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said: “The Kennel Club is delighted to welcome to Crufts all charities or organisations that share our aim to improve the health and welfare of all dogs.

“The Blue Cross pet owner survey found that 65 percent of people do not know where to find reliable information about the health and welfare of pedigree dogs but there will be a dedicated Health Zone at Crufts, where experts will be on hand to answer any questions that dog owners might have.

“Pet owners, alongside breeders, are key to improving the health of pedigree dogs and Crufts is a unique opportunity for visitors to discover how to make informed buying choices, within an environment that celebrates the diverse role that dogs play in society and how much they enrich our lives.

“The continued support of charities and veterinary organisations confirms our belief that Crufts is the world's best platform for all dog lovers to come together and ensure that we achieve our shared goal of giving dogs happy, healthy lives.”

The support of the high profile charities and veterinary organisations follows the results of the Kennel Club’s review of all breed standards, which will help to ensure that no dog is bred for features that might prevent it from seeing, walking and breathing freely. Many of the breed standards required no change or only minor changes but in some the revisions were more significant.  The Kennel Club has hosted a Judges Seminar, which highlighted the central role that judges will play in safeguarding the future of pedigree dogs.

The charities and veterinary organisations which will be at Crufts are:
·        Animal Health Trust
·        Animal Rescue Thessalonike
·        Animals Asia Foundation
·        Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
·        Birmingham Dogs Home
·        Blue Cross
·        British and Irish Dogs Breed Preservation Trust
·        British Veterinary Association
·        Canine Partners
·        Cinnamon Trust
·        Dogs for the Disabled
·        Greyhound Rescue West of England
·        Guide Dogs
·        Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
·        Kennel Club Breed Rescue
·        National Pet Week
·        Pets as Therapy
·        Retired Greyhound Trust
·        Support Dogs
·        Wood Green Animal Shelters